Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

What you been doing Paw-Paw?

A good friend and compadre, Wonderdawg AKA Rusty sent me an email with what he has been up to over the last year.   I was inspired by what he has done and how far he has come, and with his permission, I want to share it with all of you as well.

So without further ado, Here is Rusty and in his own words, showing what a true Do’er does!

What you been doing Paw-Paw? Seems to be a favorite question of my Grand-kids, sooooooo!

After having brain surgery 3 years ago and laying up, convalescing and becoming a severe couch potato or PC addict, I was actually doing more dying than living. Over the months I lost most of my stamina, muscle tone and just put on more pounds…..Then almost a year ago Hurricane Issac showed up and flooded my domain for several days doing extensive damage, and basically making me homeless…..Fortunately I had bought acreage a couple years before in the hills and with some inspiring words from Dio, figured it was time to get to living again…so here are some pictures of the last year…..of what 66 year old Paw-Paw been doing…

I took what insurance money and savings and material I could salvage and headed to the hills. I was determined to build me another house away from the coast and in a remote wooded area…I also made up my mind to do this by myself as I needed the goal to get the mind active again and the physical work to get my body back in condition. Both the mind and body had suffered big time from in-activity other than searching the prepper and patriot blogs and I needed a kick-start, Issac and Dio did that.

Other than my son-in-law doing some clearing for the home site, everything else was done by myself with the supervision supplied by Rufus and the other 2, 4 legged observers. Has it been tough, yes, at times downright brutal as I lived in a lean-to for 6 months in the middle of the woods during the fall, winter, spring and now summer with no power or running water.
The first few weeks, thought I was going to die, thank God for pain pills and a stubborn disposition I finally got back in shape physically. Mentally, nothing does the mind anymore good than to actually see your efforts producing something.

I was making great headway until Christmas when I took a few weeks to spend in Texas with my Daughter and her family, besides I needed a break. Unfortunately I picked up the flu bug shortly after the Texas trip and was knocked back for a month before being able to get back to building. About mid March it started raining and raining and still raining…The flu and rain cost me several weeks and now in between monsoon type rains, the summer heat of triple digits has slowed things down, but I have it finally dried in and actually living in house now instead of the lean-to. Have more up to date pictures, just not here, will post more later….still have all the inside to do yet, including wiring, insulation, installing solar system, water system, wood stove etc….

In summary, it has not only been a fantastic rehab of my physical self and mind, but extremely helpful in knowing firsthand the ups and downs of roughing it in the boonies…the stuff I was prepared for and the way more stuff I only thought I was prepared for and wasn’t….such as how time consuming it is in just maintaining wood for fire, sanitation, hygiene, etc.

Thank you Dio, for inspiring me to quit talking about it and get to doing it, even though I might not have exactly everything needed, but to make do with what I had. I am now actually beginning to move into the house that didn’t exist this time last year and my Texas kids are coming for Thanksgiving….. Then I can show them “What Paw-Paw has been doing”…

Buddy, new helper

Buddy, new helper

campfire catfish

campfire catfish

lean-to home for 6 months

lean-to home for 6 months

clearing buikd site

clearing buikd site

lean-to, beginning flooring and burn pile

my creek

my creek

my inspectors and helper

my inspectors and helper

only way in or out

only way in or out

perimeter road

perimeter road

rain and more rain

rain and more rain

Walls and rafters going up

Walls and rafters going up

setting up front porch

setting up front porch

start of roofing strips, cold and wet again

start of roofing strips, cold and wet again

wet and cold day of framing

wet and cold day of framing

Finally a roof is on

Finally a roof is on

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9 responses

  1. Awesome work Rusty!

    August 15, 2013 at 10:19 am

  2. Dannyboy53

    Incredible, a classic demonstration of talent, perseverance, hard work, sacrifice and courage. All the things that great Americans characterize!

    Dang it that pan of catfish looks good!

    August 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

    • And I have had Rusty’s cookin. Seeing that got me hungry!

      August 15, 2013 at 10:43 am

      • Dannyboy53

        Me too Dio…I’m thinking of a trip down to the pond!

        August 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

  3. The Soffitrat

    That doesn’t look anything like the French Quarter! Looks more like Turkey Creek. Good work, Rusty! It almost makes me ashamed.

    almost… 🙂

    August 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm

  4. wonderdawg

    You have nothing to be ashamed of, saw the pics of your place recently and you much further along than me, plenty of Turkey on that creek as are other critters, it’s damn sure cold enough to suck the nuts up quick like….Also been to Picks place when Dio was out there and he’s getting there also, that visit helped inspire me to get busy…all it takes is willing to do the work and quit bitching about how unfair the world is….

    August 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  5. The Soffitrat

    Turkey Creek is a real place. I’m sure that he knows where it is, too! BTW, I’d rather be where he is, than the French Quarter! Won’t run into any flaky actors where he is either!

    August 16, 2013 at 4:10 am

  6. What challenges us the most is often what brings out the best and sometimes the worst in us as humans. You think about the concept of a home mortgage as advertised as 360 easy payments and it is all yours. Unless you build from the ground up and get Allodial title or some such nonsense the PTBs allow you. I can’t do that, I ‘m disabled and you can call it what you will I will need help. The help I’m developing is basic tools on hand. Basic skills from primary first aid and care giver to making real food.

    All to often folks feel put upon or say that stuff isn’t fair. What are you a child? Life isn’t fair it just is! Get over it and get moving. Hell I just got a small signature loan from my local credit union for my wood stove at a good rate. I completely trashed my credit rating with repos and late payments about than five years ago. You don’t need a credit card or anything else. Pay in cash and on time is a great start. Take out a couple of small loans and pay them off. It simple if not easy!

    August 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

  7. The Soffitrat

    I need you up here to get some of our people moving. Including me. Especially me! It’s the gift that keeps on giving…

    How’d you do, Danny? At the pond? And that stove, Jamie?

    Hell! Everyone seems to be making more progress than me. I AM jealous!

    August 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

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